Animal rights lawyer Antoine F. Goetschel will speak at the Faculty on March 9 – just two days after Switzerland votes on whether animals should have the right to legal representation.

Dr. Antoine F. Goetschel
Dr. Antoine F. Goetschel

Should animals have the right to be represented by a lawyer in court? That’s one of the questions Dr. Antoine F. Goetschel will discuss when he speaks at the Faculty of Law on March 9, 2010.

Dr. Geotschel is the world’s first, and only, public animal welfare lawyer. As such, it is his job to enforce the Swiss Federal Animal Protection Act, enacted in 2008 and considered by proponents of animal rights to be the world’s most progressive.

Geotshchel’s discussion is timely. On March 7, the Swiss population will vote in a referendum that would oblige every canton in the country to appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of pets and barnyard animals.

Switzerland is regarded by many supporters of animal welfare to be an international leader in the field. In addition to employing Dr. Geotschel to enforce the Federal Animal Protection Act, its constitution also protects the “dignity of the creature.”

Dr. Geotschel’s talk is sponsored by the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at McGill, and is part of a larger event entitled “WE ANIMALS: McGill Symposium and Exhibition on Animal Law.”

“Switzerland Leading the Way,” a presentation by Dr. Antoine F. Goetschel, takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Maxwell Cohen Moot Court at McGill’s Faculty of Law on March 9, 2010.

The event is free, and open to the public. For more information, please visit